Pope Francis says it's 'terrible to make money from death' talking about arms trade

(Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch)A sculpture showing a pistol following Swedish artist Carl Frederik Reutersvaerd sculpture, "Non-Violence" is pictured in front of the Berlin Chancellery Feb. 26, 2013. The German peace initiative "Aktion Aufschrei - Stoppt den Waffenhandel" (Outcry - Stop the arms trade) protest with the sculpture on a square in front of the Chancellery against German arms trade. The words read: "Our arms kill. Germany is the third largest arms-exporting country in the world."

Pope Francis has again denounced the global arms industry, saying it is "terrible to make money from death."

"Unfortunately, today the investments that bring the greatest return are arms factories," he said in his weekly general audience on May 1 in the Vatican, according to DPA.

Francis used his words to appeal for peace, mentioning the war in Ukraine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar by government forces.

DPA cited a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research that a record $2.44 trillion was spent on armaments worldwide last year, a 6.8 percent rise from 2022.

Russia's war in Ukraine was cited as one of the key reasons for the global increase in defense spending.

The United States has the highest military expenditure in the world by far, representing 37 percent of total global spending.

The combined arms revenue of the world's largest arms-producing and military services companies (the SIPRI Top 100) was $597 billion in 2022. This represents a 3.5 per cent decrease in their arms revenue from 2021 in real terms.

SIPRI said that was 3.5 percent down in their arms revenue from 2021 in real terms.

The fall in the total global arms revenue in 2022 was mostly driven by overall decreases in the arms revenue of companies in the United States and Russia.

However, despite the year-on-year drop, the total Top 100 arms revenue was still 14 percent higher in 2022 than in 2015—the first year for which SIPRI included Chinese companies in its ranking.

Large backlogs in orders and surging demand for arms during 2022 and 2023 suggest that the total Top 100 arms revenue may rise significantly in the years ahead SIPRI forecast.

Pope Francis had on Christmas Day 2023 also blasted the weapons industry and its "instruments of death" that fuel wars as he made an appeal for peace in the world, and in particular between Israel and the Palestinians, The Associated Press reported.

Speaking the from the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica to the throngs of people below, Francis said he grieved the "abominable attack" of Hamas against southern Israel on Oct. 7 and called for the release of hostages.

And he had begged for an end to Israel's military campaign in Gaza and the "appalling harvest of innocent civilians" as he called for humanitarian aid to reach those in need.

Copyright © 2024 Ecumenical News